Frank has been a man with all the buzz lately. First came his high profile features on Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch The Throne. Then he began to work with a who’s who in the music industry, including Beyonce and Justin Bieber. In between all this, he comes out with the news that he is bisexual, and even states that songs on his highly acclaimed Nostalgia/Ultra mixtape were about men. With all this said, it has created anticipation for his debut album Channel Orange. Whether from his fans or those just those who aren’t exactly comfortable with his sexuality, there is no way you could have escaped the talk about this album. Whether from media outlets to social media such as Twitter, everyone has had an opinion about the artist. That is neither here or there. It’s about the music and Frank Ocean has delivered that in spades here.
Before the album released, Frank said that Channel Orange “succintly defines me as an artist for where I am right now.” His song writing abilities ranks among the best in the business as highlighted on Pyramids, a song that tells the story about an Egyptian Pharaoh looking for love. Clocking in at ten minutes, this track is one of the strongest on Channel Orange. The layers involved with the song gets deeper as on the second half, he talks about a man who hires a hoe. On Thinkin’ Bout You, he also shows off his talents, as this song was originally written for Bridget Kelly until it received good feedback from fans. Sweet Life will immediately draw comparisons to D’Angelo and the Neo-Soul movement he helped kick start with over 15 years ago.
Now to get into the controversial songs that are included on the album. Bad Religion has Frank telling a tale about a love relationship he used to be in and wanting that feeling back. Although this song is a little more vague about his intentions, Forrest Gump is more direct on who he is singing about, as the particular individual has been “running through his mind.” There are no real bad songs on Channel Orange, but to be honest, those two tracks are kind of hard to get into due to that fact Frank is singing about something I’m not accustomed to. It however, doesn’t take away what he has accomplished up to this point.
Channel Orange is one of the best R&B albums to have been released in recent memory. Every single song compliments one another, with interludes that seem to flow nicely between songs. The way the album opens up is dope, as it samples the Playstation 1 introduction screen and goes right into the album. Frank will be making noise over the next few years and will probably take home a Grammy or two so you might as well get used to him being around. He has come a long way since being shelved away at Def Jam just a few years ago with no release date in sight. Comes to show you that mixtapes can save a career if promoted right.